Tag Archives: garlic

Healthy Thanksgiving Cooking: The Sides

The main side for the traditional Thanksgiving dinner is mashed potatoes. There are ways to reduce the calories in this side dish. I asked Jody Victor to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor: Instead of using butter and milk or cream to mash your potatoes, reserve some of the cooking water. The starchy water will actually make your mashed potatoes creamier than if you use plain water as a substitute for milk or cream. If you prefer to use milk, try evaporated skim milk, fat-free milk, or fat-free sour cream. To boost the flavor of your mashed potatoes, you can add turkey or chicken broth or stir in some garlic and herbs.

Sweet potatoes are another Thanksgiving side dish staple. Rather than using maple syrup or brown sugar to liven them up, try spices such as ginger and cinnamon when making mashed sweet potatoes. Try roasting or baking raw sweet potatoes instead of using canned sweet potatoes, which are packed in sugar or corn syrup.

Vegetable casseroles are also traditional side dishes at Thanksgiving. Look for low calorie substitutes for your casserole recipes. Substitute ricotta cheese for cream cheese. Light butter or margarine for butter. Plain yogurt or fat-free sour cream for sour cream. Evaporated skim milk or low-fat milk for whole milk. Broth based soups for cream based soups. Use fresh vegetables (or frozen) as much as possible instead of canned vegetables, which are high in sodium and low in nutrients.

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2 inch pieces
(You can precook sweet potatoes in microwave to decrease roasting time.)
2 medium onions cut into 1 inch pieces
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray a 9×13 baking pan with olive oil cooking spray. Put potatoes and onions in baking dish and spray them lightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and stir mixture every 15 minutes or so. Spray them a little every time you stir. Bake 35/45 minutes (if precooked) to 60/80 minutes (if raw) until tender. For variations, you can add cayenne pepper for heat or cinnamon for sweet or chopped rosemary for savory tastes.

FRESH GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE
4 cups fresh green beans cut into 1 inch pieces
2 shallots or 8 green onions, sliced
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (or any fresh mushroom), sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups + 2 tablespoons rice milk (or low-fat milk), divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
10 wonton wrappers
Bring water to a boil in a 2-quart saucepan. Place green beans in boiling water and cook until just soft (about 10 minutes). Drain and set aside. Heat large saucepan on medium heat. Spritz with cooking spray. Sauté shallots/green onions until translucent and starting to brown. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms are soft and slightly browned. Use more cooking spray if necessary. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add 2 cups of the milk to the pan and bring to a boil. While milk is heating up, combine cornstarch and the 2 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl. Add cornstarch mixture to boiling milk mixture. Whisk constantly until mixture is thickened. Reduce heat to simmer then remove from heat after 5 minutes. Cut wontons into thin strips. Spread strips evenly on a baking sheet. Season to taste, if desired. Bake for five minutes. Stir and bake until golden brown (another 2 to 3 minutes). Set aside to cool. Add green beans to milk mixture. Stir to coat evenly. Pour coated beans mixture into a greased casserole dish. Cover with foil. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, or until beans are hot and bubbly. Remove from oven. Top with toasted wontons.

Thanks Jody

All the Best
Steve Victor

Summer Squash

Summer squash is a type of squash that is harvested when immature and the rind is still tender and edible. I asked Jody Victor®  to tell us more about it.

Jody Victor®: The name “summer squash” refers to its short storage life as opposed to the longer storage life of winter squash. Summer squashes include: cousa squash, patty pan/scallop squash, yellow crookneck squash, yellow summer squash, and zucchini. Summer squash can be harvested later in the season when the rind is tougher. You just have to prepare them more like a winter squash with longer cooking times.

To prepare summer squash, run it under water until the skin feels clean. Cut off and discard the ends. If the skin is tough or if the skin feels gritty after washing, peel it. Summer squash can be grated, sliced, or cut into desired pieces.

To steam summer squash, arrange the pieces in a strainer or rack over 1/2 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam just until barely tender. Drain well and toss with olive oil or your favorite sauce.

 To sauté summer squash, cook in butter or olive oil over medium-high heat until barely tender. Season with herbs of your choice, salt, and pepper. The healthiest way to sauté any vegetable is in 3 tablespoons of vegetable or chicken broth or even water. Heat liquid in a stainless steel skillet. Once bubbles begin to form add sliced squash, cover, and “healthy sauté” for 3 minutes (1 1/2 minutes on each side). Transfer to a bowl and toss with a Mediterranean dressing or any dressing of your choice.

STUFFED SUMMER SQUASH

3 medium summer squash

1 large onion, chopped

 3 tablespoons olive oil

 1/2 pound sausage

 3 cups fresh bread crumbs, divided in half

 1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided in half

 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped

 4 tablespoons melted butter 

 Cook squash with 4 tablespoons water in microwave on high for 7 minutes. Cool. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Remove from pan. Saute sausage until brown. Put onion/garlic back in pan and mix with 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out leaving 1/2 inch shell. Drain scooped-out squash for a few minutes then add to sausage mixture. Put squash mixture in squash shells. Make a topping with melted butter, 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake in greased pan, covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6.

SUMMER SQUASH VEGETABLE MEDLEY

2 pounds yellow summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced

1 green bell pepper, sliced

 2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges

1/2 onion, sliced

1 clove garlic, chopped]

 Olive oil

5-6 slices jack or cheddar cheese

Basil, dry or chopped fresh

Salt and pepper

Saute squash, onion, garlic, and bell pepper in a large saucepan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the vegetables slightly. Sprinkle with basil and stir it in. Remove from heat and add slices of cheese. Cover. In a separate frying pan, sauté tomatoes on medium high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Juices from tomatoes should evaporate some. Add the tomatoes to the rest of the vegetables. Stir gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.

SUMMER SQUASH WITH ROASTED GARLIC

 2 summer squash

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon of herbs of choice

 Salt and pepper to taste

 Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut each squash lengthwise into quarters. Cut spears in half crosswise and in half again until you have 16 short spears. Toss squash in olive oil and garlic in a bowl. Place in shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast squash until the spears and garlic begin to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Check squash after 5 minutes and add time in 2 to 3 minute intervals to avoid burning. Serves 4.

Thanks, Jody!

All the Best!

Steve Victor

Great Green Tomatoes

We are nearing the last harvest for summer fruits and vegetables. Tomato vines are loaded with green tomatoes that may not ripen. It’s time to enjoy tomatoes green! I asked Jody Victor®   to tell us some of his favorite recipes.

Jody Victor®: Here you go, Steve, a few of my favorites.

Quick Fried Green Tomatoes

2 green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 to 1/3 inch thick

Prepare egg wash with one egg and 2 tablespoons of water

Mix panko bread crumbs with seasonings of choice.

Heat oil in skillet at medium-high heat.

Dip slices in egg washm then breading, then the skillet.

Cook about 2 minutes per side. Turn when edges begin to brown.

Remove slices and place on paper towel-lined plate.

Season with salt and pepper.

Serve with ranch dressing.

Fried Green Tomatoes

1 pound green tomatoes, sliced 1/2 inch thick

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/3 cup plain dry breadcrumbs

1/3 cup cornmeal

1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Salt and black pepper

Generous sprinkling of white pepper

2 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

In medium bowl, season flour with salt and black and white pepper. Mis well with fork. In a second bowl, place eggs and beat well. In third bowl, mix bread crumbs, cornmeal, and Parmesan cheese. Dredge tomato slices in seasoned flour. Dip them in egg, letting excess drip back into bowl. Press slices in the breadcrumb/cornmeal/Parmesan mixture. In large nonstick skillet, heat olive oil until it shimmers. Add tomatoe slices (single layer) and cook over medium-high heat, turning once, until golden and crisp (2 1/2 to 3 minutes per side). Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. Drizzle with favorite salad dressing.

Grilled Green Tomatoes

1/2 cup olive oil

1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

4 medium-size green tomatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices

1 16-oz package fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/3 cup fresh basil, sliced thin

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic freezer bag. Add tomatoes, seal, and shake gently to coat. Chill for one hour. Preheat grill to 350-400 degrees. Remove tomatoes from marinade, reserving marinade. Grill tomatoes, grill lid down, 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until tender and grill marks appear. Arrange alternating slices of tomato and mozzarella on a large shallow platter. Drizzle with reserved marinade. Salt and pepper to taste ans sprinkle with basil.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                    1                                                                                                                                           3 Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to try these.

All the Best!

Steve Victor

 

TOMATOES TIMES 2

Our last article sounded so good, I asked Jody Victor®  if he had any more favorite recipes with tomatoes. Here’s what he told me.

Jody Victor®: Hey, Steve, it’s that time of year when home-grown tomatoes are available everywhere. Even if you don’t grow them yourself, you can get wonderful tomatoes from your local grocer, roadside stand, or Farmer’s Market in your area. Here’s some more of my favorite recipes.

Green Beans and Roasted Tomatoes

4 cups fresh tomatoes, cut into 1″ pieces

1 whole head garlic, cloves separated and peeled

2 tsp sea salt

1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix tomatoes, garlic cloves, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a large bowl. Spread into a 9×13 baking dish. Roast tomatoes in preheated oven until they are lightly flecked with brown spots and garlic is tender (about 45 minutes). Remove from oven after 20 minutes and mash lightly with a spatula. While tomatoes are roasting, prepare and steam green beans until just tender (about 5 minutes). Place beans in a serving dish and mix in roasted tomatoes.

Easy Tomato Foccacia Bread

1 10 oz. tube refrigerated pizza crust

1/4 cup olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, crushed

2 fresh tomatoes, sliced thin

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

Roll out pizza crust and place on a greased baking sheet. Combine olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper, and 1 Tbsp of rosemary and spread over pizza crust. Top with remaining rosemary, tomatoes, and Parmesan cheese. Bake at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes.

Pasta with fresh Tomato and Olive Sauce

1/4 cup olive oil

1 cup Kalamata olives or other brine-cured black olives, pitted and chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

6 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 tsp dried crushed red pepper

1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 8 large), chopped

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 pound pasta of choice, fully cooked

1 1/2 cups coarsely grated Parmesan cheese (about 4 oz.)

1 cup fresh basil, chopped

Heat olive oil in large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add olives, onion, garlic, and red pepper. Saute until onion begins to soften (about 4 min). Add tomatoes and tomato paste and stir until tomatoes are just warmed through (about 2 min). Mix in red wine vinegar. Add cooked pasta, 1 cup Parmesan cheese, and basil. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Transfer to large serving bowl. Top with remaining Parmesan.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to try these out!

Steve Victor

IT’S TOMATO TIME!

We’re in the middle of summer and all the great garden veggies are coming our way. I asked Jody Victor®  to give us some of his favorite recipes for tomatoes and other good stuff.

Jody Victor®: Hey, Steve, great time to ask! Here are some of my faves.

Cherry Tomato Bruschetta

3 pints cherry tomatoes

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 cup sliced fresh basil

1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

1 baguette, cut into 14 slices and toasted

Kalamata olives or fresh basil for garnish

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Toss tomatoes with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and roast until broken down, 45 to 55 minutes. Combine roasted tomatoes with basil and vinegar in a bowl. Top each baguette slice with the mixture and garnish.

Caprese Melts

8 slices buttermilk or sourdough sandwich bread

1 Tbsp olive oil

Fresh basil leaves

2-3 ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick

4 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced 1/4 inch thick

Salt and Pepper

Brush one side of each bread slice with olive oil. Place 4 slices, oil side down, on baking sheet. Layer evenly with basil leaves, tomato slices, and mozzarella slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and to with remaining slices of bread. Broil sandwiches 6 inches from heat, turning once until golden brown and cheese is melted (2-3 minutes).

Red Potato and Tomato Salad

1 pound baby red potatoes, halved

2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved

1/3 cup pitted black olives, halved

3 scallions, sliced thin

1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley

2 Tbsp capers, rinsed and drained

1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme

1/4 cup olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Add the potatoes to a medium saucpan with enough water to cover by 2 inches. Set over medium heat. Bring water to a boil and continue boiling until tender (15-20 m9inutes). Dreain in a colander and allow themti dry for 5 minutes. In serving bowl, add potatoes to the remaining ingredients. Toss gently until everything is coated. Season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate for one hour and gently toss again before serving.

Tomato Chickpea Casserole

4 cups cooked elbow macaroni

1 can chickpeas, drained

4 cups diced tomatoes, drained

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup skim milk

Salt and pepper to taste

1/4 tsp dried basil

1/4 cup breadcrumbs

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

2 Tbsp olive oil

Spray 9×13 casserole dish with non-stick spray. In large bowl, combine pasta, chickpeas, and tomatoes. Stir in flour, milk, basil and salt and pepper. Transfer to baking dish and spread evenly. Combine remaining ingredients in a small bowl and sprinkle on tip of casserole. Cover and bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake for 10-15 minutes more, until the top is evenly browned and crunchy.

Thanks, Jody! We’ll be sure to try these!

All the Best!

Steve Victor